cardiovascular

Sensors, artificial intelligence and big data are not only changing healthcare, they are transforming the workplace and may even reinvent the insurance sector. Stress takes its toll on all of us. It affects our mental health and is linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity. It also costs employers tens of thousands of euro per year while the healthcare costs for governments and private insurers run into the billions. My start-up company, BioBeats, began with a mission to reduce people’s stress. We use biometric sensor technologies to understand stress and offer proven interventions that can reduce its impact. Wearables and smartphones can collect a wealth of data which are fed into artificial intelligence algorithms to anticipate moments of stress and deliver targeting interventions. By collecting biometric data for a couple of weeks, we can predict how you’ll sleep tonight or how you will perform at work next week. Opportunities in occupational health At first, we developed this product for the general public. The app, Hear and Now , is in the app store and teaches powerful deep-breathing exercises. These interventions are based on evidence-based techniques backed up by robust science. It soon became clear to us that the market for a tool like this is much bigger than stressed-out individuals keen on avoiding burnout. Employers have much to gain by understanding and reducing the burden of stress. Not only do companies want to curb avoidable absenteeism, they face a daily battle with presenteeism – people who turn up for work but are unproductive due to stress and worry. So, we built a dashboard for employers. The system collects information on employees which individuals can use to better understand when stress occurs and what causes it. They can then learn valuable stress-control techniques that improve their health. But for...
Question: As an active leader in the heart failure conversation and the instigator of the Heart Failure Aware campaign, could you tell us more on what it’s trying to achieve, target, why is it important, and how you could see it rolled out across Europe? Currently we are facing a number of large unmet challenges in heart failure across Europe. There is no parity in access to care, variations exist across Europe; I say this because we know what we should be doing, but we’re not doing it. 15 million people in Europe have heart failure; it’s a tsunami that will hit the shores of Europe’s health systems, it’s not on the agenda – politically, economically or even amongst the public. It is a poor relation in comparison to other conditions. One of the challenges we face includes a lack of access to innovation across all therapeutic areas in heart failure. Patients when diagnosed aren't generally aware of the therapy options and pathways. Heart failure patients don't know until they have been managing their condition for a long time, of the treatment options potentially available to them such as cardiac devices. Awareness of medtech products and therapies is very low in the heart failure patient community, and it’s even worse around the innovations. The reason I founded the Pumping Marvellous Foundation was because patients and their families were under-served and were in need of knowledge, information and techniques to manage their heart failure – and an essential element to this is knowing what is available, our patient community call this ‘hope’. We developed a heart failure community platform on Facebook because it was free and social media plays a big part in people's lives. Recent studies have suggested, that our assumptions around older persons use of social media is wrong,...
My name is Isabel Saraiva. I’m Portuguese and ex-smoker. I quit smoking in April 2006 when I was diagnosed with COPD, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. COPD is a progressive respiratory disease characterized by the obstruction of lung airflow making breathing difficult. Prevention, which means quitting smoking and access to early diagnostic, is the most important issue for people with this Chronic Respiratory Disease. I was lucky enough to be diagnosed without delay and I succeed in quitting smoking. I can say that my COPD is under control and I have a full, rewarding life. But I’m sure, starting with the diagnosis, that without several categories of medical devices, some of them so ordinary that almost nobody gives them a second look, my life will be completely different: breathless, dependent, depressed, without proper diagnostic and treatment. 1. What medical devices are relevant to your disease area? As a COPD patient, the mandatory monitoring of my condition and coping with the day to day life can’t discard a diversified set of medical devices: from the sophisticated x-Ray, T-scan and spirometry machines needed to evaluate the disease progression, to the inhalers to spread medicines in my lungs, or even the humble syringes needed to take blood in order to evaluate the level of oxygen in my body. Medical devices are always there for me and each and one of them is important for my wellbeing. They provide valuable and accurate information about my health and my condition to my doctor and to me. They help to calibrate my treatment and they make my life safer and more predictable. 2. Have you seen any development in recent years in the treatment of the disease which were helpful to you? The improvement of the drug delivery systems and the inhalation therapy, together with new and...
Salt and heart failure
As the 2013 World Salt Awareness Week calls for “Less Salt, Please”, it may be time for Europeans to seriously consider the implications of their seasoning habits on their health, notably their heart health. Heart failure (HF) is characterised by the inability of the heart to respond to the blood flow demands of the body, a condition that is becoming increasingly common, with more than 20 million directly affected worldwide.
This week a very interesting group of people met on the last day of the ESC Congress (European Society of Cardiology) in Munich. Representatives of the Eucomed CRM Telemonitoring Working Group, individual member companies and leading representatives of the ESC came together under the chairmanship of the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) to officially launch the White Paper “Moving towards good practice in reimbursement of CIED Telemonitoring”.